Despite the advent of smartphones, we still consider a wristwatch to be a necessity.
It can be practical, sentimental and a simple way to elevate your daily look.
While there’s no shortage of watches to choose from, here are a few brands we think make 'em best.
The design duo behind Adrien Harper is creating sharp, clean timepieces inspired by ’90s minimalism. With Roman numerals marking the time, all Adrien Harper watches maintain a focus on detail. Gold, silver, black and rose gold cases frame slim dials, with the option of leather or metal mesh bands across both men’s and women’s styles. Straps can also be purchased separately. The label has as an easy interchangeable system, meaning you’ll be able to switch between bands faster than you can change your outfit to match.
Laud Timepieces produces quality watches designed to last through life’s greatest moments. Along with scratch-resistant stainless steel, each piece holds a 10-year battery life and is fitted with Swiss movements – a mark of true quality. Laud’s watch faces are constructed using sapphire crystal, boasting an anti-reflective coating to ensure you can read the time, anytime. And anywhere it seems, with water resistance for up to 50 metres. The label is set to launch soon, so be sure to mark down all your favourites. With monogram engraving, we’re expecting them to be snapped up fast.
John Taylor Watches
Launched via a successful crowdfunding campaign, Perth-based John Taylor Watches delivers a range of minimal timepieces inspired by Australia’s coastal lifestyle. Having reached its Kickstarter goal in just 15 days, this brand is one to watch. Each piece is crafted with a stainless steel casing, Swiss movement, hardened mineral crystal lens and is water resistant. There are six core styles to choose from, each named after some of our most iconic beaches. We’re talking Noosa, Bells, Bondi, Whitehaven, Byron and Cottesloe. If you can’t choose your fave, JT also offers a range of interchangeable leather straps.
Huckleberry & Co
Huckleberry & Co prefers to take a more traditional approach to watchmaking, crafting automatic mechanical watches powered by your movement, instead of batteries. Inspired by traditional Bauhaus designs, Huckleberry & Co watches nod to the past, yet are contemporary enough to stand the test of time. The brand recently won gold at the Melbourne Design Awards for its signature Atticus model, which tells you it’s got to be good. To give you extra peace of mind, all watches also come with a one-year warranty. Time for an update.
Jack + Bell
Despite the variety of watch brands in the market, mates Pete Kennon and Jack Davis noticed a gap. Both had struggled to find a timepiece that was a mark of quality, yet suitable for their everyday wear. Enter Jack + Bell. The brand creates watches that feel as comfortable in the boardroom as on a work site, upholding values of craftsmanship and authenticity. Leather straps are sourced from Tuscany, internal mechanisms are Swiss and faces are made from sapphire glass, a material second only to diamonds in hardness. You can pick up a Jack + Bell timepiece from $295.
Time IV Change
In addition to its witty name, Time IV Change is doing all kinds of good for the world. The label specialises in vegan leather watches, with every timepiece cruelty-free and produced with materials that have minimal impact on the environment. It’s the first watch brand to use Pinatex, a leather-like material made from by-products of the pineapple harvest. With all the usual perks (minimalist design, interchangeable watch straps), you can rest even easier knowing your purchase is making a difference. Twenty per cent of all the label’s proceeds is donated to nine organisations Time IV Change supports.
What began as a leather footwear label in 2009 has since earned a name for itself, thanks to its watches. The Horse is known for its refined designs, carefully crafted to last seasons. Scott and Amy Hawkes are the husband and wife duo behind the label, with both designers critical of throwaway trends. Instead, they focus on a piece’s enduring quality. The result is a timeless collection that reflects the sophistication of the wearer. You won’t want to use your phone to tell the time when your wrist looks this good.
Kangaroo leather and marble watch faces are the markers of Deon Dane, a unisex watch label from Sydney. The design focus is on minimal, everyday timepieces with an emphasis on sustainability and durability. As a green alternative, it uses recycled kangaroo leather that would otherwise end up in waste to make watch straps. Weight for weight, it’s the strongest and lightest leather available. Deon Dane is currently offering FJ readers 15 per cent off their next purchase. Use FJ15 at the checkout and thank us later.
WeWood is giving back to Mother Nature, one watch at a time. Since 2011, the brand has upheld its philosophy of bettering the planet, planting a tree for every watch purchased. The watches themselves are created from mostly reclaimed scrap wood, but the latest collection has branched out (excuse the pun). WeWood is now incorporating recycled steel into its timepieces. The Date MB range combines the durability of stainless steel with the label’s traditional timber design. Steel colour choices include black, rose gold, blue and gunmetal, making for a striking new addition to your watch collection.
This feature was originally published in Fashion Journal 169. You can read it here.